NEW YORK (AP)—The latest cell phones can show you the nearest bathrooms in San Francisco or which subway to take in London. They can also help with your diet by tracking calorie intake.
Behind such programs and more is the very technology at the center of an intense battle between Microsoft Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. over control of desktop computers.
Though Sun has mostly lost that fight, the beleaguered Silicon Valley icon is trying to give new life to its Java programming language with an aggressive push into mobile devices. Once again, it finds a foe in Microsoft. But this time Sun has the lead.
Java gives consumers nifty applications like games, weather and maps. It helps motorists avoid traffic congestion and lets companies track sales people on the go.
Nokia, the worlds No. 1 seller of cell phones, already has more than three dozen Java-enabled models, and plans to include Java in all but its low-end units in the future, said Victor Brilon, Nokias Java application manager. One phone model even uses Java to snap photographs.
Sun, which distributes Java for free and sells computers to power Java services, says more than 94 million Java devices are in use.
What began as a novelty in Japan has garnered broader interest in Europe and North America over the past year, with 53 wireless carriers embracing Java, up from 35 last year, according to Sun.
Java also is appearing in cars, printers and camcorders. Alan Brenner, Suns vice president for consumer and mobile systems, said makers of medical devices are also taking a look.
For the full story, check out the eWEEK article.